5 Huge Crazy Feuds You Had No Clue Were Happening Right Now
These days, it's easy to wake up, check your phone, and be engulfed in a world of rage. Whether it's about politics, ethics, or cartoon rabbits trying to murder someone, if you believe the internet, everybody is always fighting with everyone else about everything. But in this giant melee of online anger, some furious yet highly entertaining fights tend to slip through the cracks. So here are a few epically low-key feuds that are so weird, you guys.
Unicode Is Fighting A Civil War Over The Frowning Poop Emoji
Emojis are the first universal digital language, and its smiley faces and purple penis vegetables are laying the foundation of the language we will perhaps one day use to communicate with an alien species. That's why Unicode, the tech organization in charge of overseeing the development of new emojis, takes its job very seriously -- seriously enough to go to war over sad poop.
There are two schools of thought that have emerged out of the hallowed halls of Unicode. Higher-ups feel they should keep focusing on emojis, as this is clearly what the people (i.e. Facebook moms) want. However, a renegade faction of programmers argues that the group's disproportionate focus on new emoji development is getting in the way of actual linguistic research and the foundation's intent of encoding all of mankind's language into a digital format. Then, after years of turtling, the schism finally hit the fan in 2017, when two programmers couldn't take this shit anymore -- literally.
Typographers Michael Everson and Andrew West asserted that the emoji process had gotten "too commercial" and needed more regulation. The cause of this was Unicode's emoji subcommittee (meaning that there are people who own business cards that say "emoji subcommittee") proposing that they turn the poop emoji into five new poops, each with a different facial expression. Everson wrote, "The idea that our 5 committees would sanction further cute graphic characters based on this should embarrass absolutely everyone who votes yes on such an excrescence. Will we have a CRYING PILE OF POO next? PILE OF POO WITH TONGUE STICKING OUT? PILE OF POO WITH QUESTION MARKS FOR EYES? PILE OF POO WITH KARAOKE MIC? Will we have to encode a neutral FACELESS PILE OF POO?" Once you open the poo pipes, can they ever be closed again?
The frowning poo was ultimately defeated, thanks to the Unicode "renegades and misfits" using social media to publicly criticize the foundation. But since then, the frowning poo proposal has been resubmitted for consideration, which means Everson and West will have to get back to talking shit about them online. If only they had a larger variety of emojis to accomplish that goal ...
The Former Kermit And Jim Henson's Kids Are Duking It Out
Steve Whitmire is the puppeteer who took over as the voice and hand-body of Kermit the Frog after Jim Henson died in 1990. He held this mantle of Muppet royalty until 2016, when he was abruptly and unceremoniously fired by his Disney overlords. The narrative seemed pretty straightforward: The heartless corporation that took over a classic brand fired Jim Henson's chosen successor after 26 years because he probably asked for an extra penny in his contract negotiations. But according to some, there was something far more sinister going on in the Kingdom of Felt.
According to Whitmire, he was fired because the company felt he gave too many notes to executives, and for his "unproductive negotiation style." He also claimed they had a deeper, politically motivated reason. See, Whitmire had made it his life mission to preserve the Muppets' "core values" -- something those Disney suits knew nothing about -- and that without him, the company had consciously snuffed out the last link to the glorious Age of Henson. "I fear I was the last samurai," Whitmire wrote, referencing the 2003 film with Tom Cruise in which some weirdo keeps telling the most capable people on the planet how to do their jobs.
With those statements, Whitmire had rallied an army of Muppet fans to come to his aid, but others defended the decision, including some randos known as Jim Henson's children. According to them, it was Jim's son Brian who had originally picked Whitmire as the new Kermit, while Whitmire had always claimed he had been chosen by the Muppet God's own hand. Meanwhile, Cheryl Henson, Jim's daughter, flat out accuses Whitmire of trying to destroy her father's legacy, writing: "Steve's performance of Kermit has strayed far away from my father's good hearted, compassionate leader of the Muppets. Steve performed Kermit as a bitter, angry, depressed, victim." Ouch. Not really the level of viciousness you'd expect from frog-puppet-related scraps.
So either a heartless corporation fired Jim Henson's handpicked successor to save a few bucks and destroy his legacy, or Jim Henson's kids decided to finally oust a petty tyrant so that a better man could become the new King of Muppets. Quite Shakespearian for a franchise that's about a frog and a pig getting it on.
A Powerful Cabal Wants To Make America Square Dance Again
When you think about square dancing ... actually, let's stop there. Nobody thinks about square dancing. Ever. It's a lame activity practiced only by simpletons wearing tablecloths, and it barely exists outside of the vintage dinner theater circuit in Racist Creek, North Carolina. Or at least, that's what the enemies of freedom want you think. But the truth is that valiant patriots are keeping square dance alive and slightly kicking. Why? Because it's one of the last bastions protecting wholesome American values.
Hardcore square dance enthusiasts believe that they practice the one true American dance form. Ever since the '80s, they've been attempting to make it the "official dance" of the United States. If you're wondering what the current official dance is, there isn't one. And when the squareheads figured out that wouldn't be changing any time soon, they shifted their focus to the state level. Currently, they've successfully lobbied to make square dancing the official "state dance" of 27 states, with proponents arguing that it's a "truly modern American dance," and that they're preserving American history -- the part of American history that wants jazz to go fuck itself.
That's right, racism. Opponents of square dance supremacy have noted the dance's problematic rise to popularity. It happened because Henry Ford, billionaire industrialist and hater of everyone not mayonnaise-white, saw traditional American music like country and square dancing as a wholesome alternative to jazz. He organized square dances and fiddling contests throughout the country, and encouraged his employees to attend in order to ward off the devil's jam session, which he believed was "a Jewish creation" and nothing but "Monkey talk, jungle squeals, grunts and squeaks and gasps suggestive of calf love ... camouflaged by a few feverish notes." So, primo bedroom music.
But anti-racist dance rebels have found an unlikely ally in the fight against square dancing's Footloose-like grip on the country: other folk dancers. Square-O's have been stopped in their tracks by other dance patriots wanting to protect different sectors of American heritage, like polka, clog-dancing, and other regional folk dances one does in halls smelling of sour beer. They see the square dance movement as folk music fascism, a deliberate attempt to obliterate the nuances of regional folk traditions under the square dance juggernaut. A Red Scare-dance, if you will.
And so, while us cool kids listen to the dubsteps and the Miley Cyrus, this epic dance-off still rages on in the bureaucratic backrooms of those tan, always-closed municipal buildings you'll never enter until you need a marriage license.
The COEXIST Bumper Sticker Guys Are Getting Accused Of Stealing It
Coexist -- a kinder message has never been put onto a bumper sticker. In a sea of honor student brags and little cartoon boys peeing on Mercedes logos, it's a beautiful reminder that us humans need to stick together and not let petty squabbles get between us. So it's ironic, then, that we can't even come together on deciding who came up with the logo in the first place.
That slightly minimalist "coexist" design was made by a Polish graphic designer named Piotr Mlodozeniec, who submitted it to a contemporary art museum in Jerusalem in 2000. But maybe you're a little bit more familiar with this version:
Five years after Mlodozeniec's submission, a group of Indiana University students came across the logo on the internet. They thought it was such a powerful message that they modified it into their own version. That's when the "coexistence" business went a little hostile. The students not only decided against asking the original artist for permission, but they also trademarked their version and started selling T-shirts and bumper stickers to millions of hippies. Then, as with all things, U2 got involved. After Bono spotted Coexist graffiti in Chicago, he heavily incorporated it into the band's Vertigo tour, even stopping the music to lecture his fans about the meaning of the design -- something we imagine U2 fans have gotten used to by now.
When Mlodozeniec and others started objecting to these college kids' greedy antics, they threatened legal action against anyone else trying to use the logo for profit. Eventually, a mess of lawyers started untangling what had happened, and Mlodozeniec was given a credit on the U2 DVD. This has led to numerous legal battles, all of which should've gotten resolved by one of the lawyers saying, "Can't we just ... you know?" But Mlodozeniec isn't in it for the money or revenge; he simply doesn't want people to think he designed the second version of the logo. Or as he described it, "It looked really poor and bad." He can coexist with thieves, he can coexist with bullies, but he can't coexist with such shitty artists.
The International Society For The History Of The Map Has Duelling Websites
In 2011, a bunch of map nerds (or cartography historians, as they prefer to be called) founded the International Society for the History of the Map, or ISHMap, because people collecting old maps are quite busy. The organization is dedicated to the preservation and education of map history. They even have an adorable website that looks like someone copied it from a 1995 Microsoft Encarta CD-ROM.
Except that this website is a fraud! The society also has this other website, called Mapping As A Process, which claims to be the one true website and that the other is the illegal creation of a rogue member. Apparently, due to a "constitutional crisis" within the mapping group (something involving gerrymandering, we have to assume), a special council was held removing their last-ever president, Hungarian professor Zsolt G. Torok. However, Torok has refused to accept the election results, and continues to operate as the chair of the society. That might seem very small of this cartographer, but that's because you're forgetting to factor in the scale.
And Torok got his revenge and then some. For a long time, his website showed up as the top Google result if you searched the name of the society, even though it's technically unaffiliated with them. Meanwhile, the real website struck back by publicly stating that "Prof. Torok's actions are illegitimate, ill-advised, and detrimental to the health of the international community of map historians." In retaliation, the professor started 2018 by telling ISHMap members that they're only allowed to renew their memberships through his website, even though he no longer has access to the Society's bank account. Clearly, this goofy war is showing no signs of getting any less vicious. And that's the danger with feuds between mapheads: They're quick on the draw and know exactly where the bodies are buried.
The best kinds of maps are the ones where you can track your travels anyway.
Support Cracked's journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
Have you followed us on Facebook, yet?